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Imo to set up research unit for diabetes management


Owerri – Imo State Government said it had concluded plans to establish a research centre that would monitor and manage diabetic patients in the state.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Udokwu, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Owerri on Friday.

He said the centre, when in place, would help the state conduct free screening and manage diabetic cases in the state and its environs.

He said with the centre, the government, through the ministry of health, would be able to have  statistics of people suffering from the hailment after the screening that would take place in different zones of the state.

Udokwu said that diabetes had a hereditary component and affected people that were overweight, took excess sugar, smoke and drink a lot.

He said as part of the activities marking this year’s World Diabetes Day, the ministry had embarked on awareness creation and sensitisation of the people through news talk and ‘Walk for Life.’

He said the ministry, with collaborating agencies, would embark on a “Walk for Life” next week to drive home the issue and challenges associated with diabetes.

The commissioner described the World Diabetes Day as a day set aside by the World Health Organisation and other organisations to create awareness on diabetes and commemorate people living with diabetes globally.

He said research estimated that over 382 million people throughout the world had diabetes, while in 2014 the number of people living with diabetes world wide rose to 422 million.

The commissioner said that over 500 million cases of type 2 diabetes existed worldwide.

He identified the two types of diabetes as Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes, adding that the warning signs include,  frequent urination, unusual thirst, constant hunger, unusual weight loss, blurred vision and extreme fatigue aside others.

Udokwu said that the earlier a person is diagnosed, the earlier treatment could be initiated in order to reduce the risk of harmful and costly complications.

According to him, diabetes could be prevented by adopting a simple and healthy lifestyle which include maintaining a healthy body weight, indulging in physical fitness activities like brisk walks and jogging

”Others include, eating healthy diet with more of vegetables and fruits and less of sugars and saturated fats”

“Our Non-communicable Diseases Unit, which oversees diabetes matters and other non-communicable diseases such as cancers, has been strenghtened by Gov. Emeka Ihedioha.

”This is to ensure that awareness creation and public enlightenment about the many silent diseases is continuously carried out,” he said.

The commissioner called on everyone to regularly undergo screening for diabetes through checking of the blood sugar levels called Fasting Blood Sugar Test and Glucose Tolerance Tests.

According to the commissioner, this is to avoid the complications that result from un-diagnosed cases of diabetes.


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